I am seriously considering purchasing a property with a straw bale home that is about 17 years old in a climate with 4 intense seasons. Compared to the worn out, off grid cabins and mobile homes we have considered the home looks like a dream. However I am learning about issues people have had with straw bale construction such as water getting in walls and inefficiency or drafty. I understand resale isn't great because banks generally won't finance. I love the style and looks of these homes. Is there anything I should consider or ask about when buying a straw bale home? How easy is it to repair portions of old construction that may be wearing? Thoughts? Suggestions?
You do not have to be worry if house foundation, and roof are good. As, it is the same issue as for all type of houses >> It has to be done correctly and accurately!
I'm quite sure clay is also included, right? Clay must hold water from breaking through walls.
Inefficiency? Oposite. It is one of best material for healty living in the house.
Drafty? The point of straw, and clay is actual to perform light drafty through house. The house air will be all the time fresh, and it also preventing condesations. For example when cooking.
I was once in straw clay house, when housewife has prepair fishes on oil. The cooking oil smell has totally gone in 2-3h, thanks to clay vapor permeability.
Nothing is easy to repair, but also not scarry. You need time, and knowledge. If lacking knowledge, then a lot of time for constantly learning. If not knowledge, and time, then just money for hiring company.
Is house frame wooden, stone, bricks?
Can you post any pictures?
We are considering buying a 25 year old straw bale house in Central Oregon. A previous potential buyer backed out because they were unable to get insurance from a standard admitted (ie state licensed) insurer. The current owner's policy was grandfathered in, but no new standard policies are being issued by any insurers I can find. I am concerned this problem will limit my ability to sell if needed in the future.
The home has a lot of deferred maintenance. A new roof needed. There is a localized area of the wall where moisture readings are 45% and visible mold in the garage. I am not handy, and not sure how to remediate this.
However, we love the location and would like to make this work. I would appreciate any thoughts you have for us.
If you are not going to have to sink your life savings into this house (including a generous allowance for repairs), and you investigate thoroughly how far repairs are likely to have to go, I would consider doing it. The price you pay should reflect the uninsurability of the house, so if you later have to sell, you can pass on that discounted price.
Strawbale repairs should be doable by reasonably handy people. Roof repairs will depend on type of roof and how skilled you are. I would want to find out what the maximum safe moisture level is in strawbales, to know how big a problem you have. Take readings in many places.